The Workhorse W-15 uses Panasonic batteries and the range extender generator from a BMW i3.
Commercial EV specialist Workhorse has revealed its plans to build an electric, range extender-equipped pickup truck.
Christened Workhorse W-15, the pickup is described as a “light duty platform," that uses the same E-Gen powertrain that propels the delivery vans the Cincinatti-based manufacturer is best known for.
The W-15 is powered by Panasonic 18650 lithium ion batteries that provide a range of around 80 miles (130 kilometres), which Workhorse believes is enough to satisfy the demands of most fleet users.
A pair of electric motors, one each on the front and rear axles, provide four-wheel drive.
No output figures are quoted, other than to claim the W-15 produces “powerful performance." Using broadly the same 60 kilowatt hour power pack, the Workhorse van serves up 268 horsepower and a massive 1,620 pound-feet of torque.
Equally, the range-extender generator has not been detailed, but it would presumably be the same 650cc, two-cylinder BMW W20 motorcycle engine used in the van. And BMW’s own i3, for that matter.
Workhorse claims the W-15 will deliver “dramatically lower” emissions, fuel consumption, and total cost of ownership than an equivalent gasoline or diesel-fueled pickup.
The company also hopes the W-15 will be the safest pickup on the market - without an engine in the nose, there’s plenty of space for an enormous crumple zone.
Letters of interest are already on the table from Duke Energy and the City of Colorado municipal fleet.
Workhorse CEO Steve Burns said: “We believe this will be the first plug-in hybrid, range-extended electric pickup truck built from the ground up by an OEM in America. It’s not a conversion vehicle.
“We feel the extended range capability from the combination of Panasonic batteries and an on-board generator, will deliver the performance that fleet managers expect from a work truck.”